One good idea can transform your business. If you think about it, that's how your business was formed originally after all -- it was just a "good idea" you once had. Well, today I have 10 really good ideas for you to help you grow your business with new marketing. Here are my top 10 small business marketing ideas...
1. Turn your business cards into lead magnets.
Most people create weak business cards. Think about it -- you have just a few moments to make an impression on someone you've just met. You want your business card to convey much more than just the everyday contact info. Try using the back of your business card to broadcast your free offer -- an ebook or free course someone can download on your website is a good example. These are easy-to-create lead magnets that can help you draw a higher percentage of your business card recipients to your website. Otherwise, your card is likely going to end up in the trash.
2. Send out a monthly print newsletter.
I think print is underrated. This is one of my all-time favorite small business marketing strategies -- the monthly print newsletter. It doesn't need to be fancy. Something simple will do. But sending something physical in the mail is a great way to create a stronger impact with your prospects.
3. Start a local Meetup group.
Meetup.com offers an easy way to create an account and meet other people in your local area who might be interested in what you sell. Start a meetup group based around a topic your customers care about, appoint yourself group leader, and start holding free workshops. Focus on providing valuable content but don't forget to pitch yourself and your products or services too.
4. Create a social media marketing strategy.
Social Media Marketing is the fastest-growing web marketing channel today, and it's not likely to slow down anytime soon. I recommend focusing on "The Big 5" social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Pinterest. Focus on these key networks -- or just pick one -- and start building a following on social media. Just remember, the goal of social media is to be social first. Follow that golden rule above self-promotion and you'll see results.
5. Write a book.
Want to become an expert in your marketplace? The fastest way I know to make that happen is to write a book. Self publishing is ok, but traditional publishing is much better. Publishing a real, physical book that can be purchased via major retailers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble is a very effective way to create instant authority and credibility for yourself and your business.
6. Write a blog.
Blogging is the cornerstone of online marketing. It's the next-best thing after writing a book in the content publishing realm. I'm always surprised by how many small businesses aren't blogging. Huge mistake. You need a website, and you need a blog.
7. Create a joint venture relationship.
Want to put rocket fuel in your small business marketing? Find another business or marketer in your marketplace and create a joint venture. A joint venture is basically a mutually-beneficial relationship where both parties have something to gain by working with one another. With the right joint venture, you can catapult your business overnight.
8. Build a list and send out direct mail.
Again, print is not dead. Direct Mail is still incredibly effective (if not more effective since most of your competitors aren't doing it). Sales letters, postcards, 3D mail -- these are all still very effective ways to build your list and sell your products.
9. Send your customers a birthday card.
Everyone has a birthday, including your customers. And everyone loves their birthday, again including your customers. Send out a special birthday card to your best customers (or all of your customers) and tap into that positive association they will naturally have between your business/brand and their favorite day of the year.
10. Start a referral program.
Referral programs are the fastest way to grow a small business. If someone buys your product or service and then recommends it to their friend or family member, you've earned an easy customer. Referral programs also enhance how your existing customers feel about what you sell since you put them in the important position of deciding if they like it or not and then making a commitment to refer you. Powerful stuff.
There you have it -- my top 10 small business marketing ideas. These are 10 excellent jumping off points for improving your marketing -- each designed to inspire more creative thinking on your part. Pick one and implement it this year and watch the results pour into your business.